Thursday, November 13, 2008

DFA hopes to free 86 Pinoy seafarers by Christmas

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine government is optimistic that the 89 Filipino seafarers held captive by Somali pirates would be freed immediately to spend their Christmas back home.

Claro Cristobal, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, told GMANews.TV that they are “doing everything" to expedite the release and return of the kidnapped seamen in Somali waters.

“Our efforts are unrelenting," Cristobal assured in an interview on Wednesday.

The number of Filipino seafarers abducted by Somali pirates climbed to 89 on Monday when the notorious sea bandits hijacked a chemical tanker crossing the Gulf of Aden near Somalia. The Philippine-flagged and operated chemical tanker MT Stolt Strength was manned by 23 Filipinos when it was seized.

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